In Monday's Asia papers

06 November 2006 03:45  [Source: ICIS news]

Asahi Shimbun, Japan (online edition)

Front page

 

New plan to track foreign workers

In an effort to get a better handle on the presence of non-Japanese workers, the labor ministry plans to make it mandatory for all firms to submit reports on their foreign employees, sources said.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare proposal aims to narrow the gap between the number of reported non-Japanese employees and the estimated number actually working here, both legally and illegally.

 

Tax cuts eyed to fund help for needy

The government is set to offer tax breaks to companies that help fund other firms with programs for people who need a second chance to stand on their own feet.

The program is in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's declared policy of helping individuals who get knocked down in life to attain financial independence.

 

Business & Industry

 

Abe aims to lead tax reform debate

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to exert greater control over the government's Tax Commission to take the initiative in tax reform discussions, sources said.

Abe aims to weaken the influence of the Finance Ministry, which places emphasis on raising taxes to reduce fiscal deficits, the sources said.

 

Shinsei revises ad for risky deposits

Shinsei Bank has revised a flyer for a controversial time deposit to better inform customers of potential risks.

The bank, which has the largest outstanding amount of structured deposits, has responded to a growing number of complaints from customers, a senior official said.  

 

China Daily, China (online edition)

Front page

 

Bright, prosperous future beckons as summit ends

China and Africa concluded a historic two-day summit Sunday in Beijing and pledged in a joint declaration and a roadmap for future development to build a strategic partnership.

“We propose to enhance South-South co-operation and North-South dialogue to promote balanced, co-ordinated and sustainable development of the global economy to enable all countries to share its benefits and realize common development and prosperity,” said President Hu Jintao when reading out part of the Beijing Declaration.

 

2006 trade surplus to exceed $140bn

China's trade surplus is expected to exceed $140bn (€110bn) this year, a Chinese government official said.

Assistant Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying said trade surplus will stay for “a quite long period of time,” partly because China has become a manufacturing center for Western countries due to its low labor costs.

 

Business & Industry

 

Largest short-haul air carrier set to be based in Tianjin

China's aviation regulatory body looks set to approve the country's largest short-haul air carrier to be based in Tianjin, north China.
The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has begun soliciting submissions on Dazhonghua Air Express proposed by Hainan Airlines Group and its subsidiary Hainan Airlines, a publicly listed company on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

 

China will offer 3G service in 2008: official

A Chinese official reiterated Saturday the government's commitment that China would offer 3G service in 2008 when the Olympic Games will be held.
“We would observe our commitment to the International Olympic Committee and provide 3G service in cities where Olympic games are held,” said Xu Qin, director of hi-tech industrial department with the National Development and Reform Commission.

 

Taiwan News, Taiwan (online edition)

Front page

 

Chen defends himself against corruption charges

Under pressure after his wife and three aides were indicted on corruption and forgery charges, President Chen Shui-bian said Sunday night that he would step down if first lady Wu Shu-chen were convicted in court for corruption.

“I wouldn't have to wait for the court to go through the appeal process,” he said.

 

Agricultural sector looks to capitalize on biotech industry

Algae and fish scales are turned into skin-care products. Herbs are made into health foods. Evergreen trees are cultivated to make anticancer drugs.

Though Taiwan has had some success in turning the island's great variety of flora and fauna into commercial products, experts say it has a long way to go before it emerges as a biotechnology powerhouse. With limited government support for research and a poor record of cashing in on laboratory breakthroughs, it is still struggling to create a name for itself in an increasingly competitive field, they say.

 

Business & Industry

 

EPA to reward schools recycling disused batteries

The Environmental Protection Administration has announced an incentive program for recycling disused batteries at all schools and universities, offering rewards totaling NT$5m ($152,000) based on recycling performance, an EPA spokesman announced yesterday.

The project aims to increase the recycling rate for domestic discarded batteries and lasts until 31 May 2007. Educational institutions across Taiwan will have the opportunity to receive grants of up to NT$30,000-NT$200,000 each by recycling, the spokesman said.

 

Hong Kong to host TOC2007 Asia meeting

TOC2007 Asia, the Terminal Operations Conference and Exhibition, is the shipping, ports and terminals event for Asia which will take place in Hong Kong on 13-15 March 2007.

TOC Events Worldwide announced today that Eva Cheng, JP, Permanent Secretary for Economic Development for Hong Kong SAR, will officiate and address the opening of the TOC2007 Asia conference.

 

Korea Herald, South Korea (online edition)

Front page

 

US discusses NK strategy

South Korea, the United States and Japan are holding a series of consultations to discuss joint strategies for the six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program and the implementation of the United Nations Security Council sanctions against the communist regime.

R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, and Robert Joseph, undersecretary of state for arms control and security, arrive in Seoul today for two-day talks as part of their Northeast Asian tour, the Foreign Ministry said.

 

Suspicions surround Roh-Kim meet

Political circles are paying close attention to the outcome of Saturday's closed-door meeting between President Roh Moo-hyun and his predecessor Kim Dae-jung. The meeting comes at a sensitive time when Roh's Uri Party is seeking a major makeover, including an alliance with other parties to prepare for the presidential election next year.

The main opposition Grand National Party yesterday criticized the president for engaging in domestic political maneuvering. Kim still exerts significant influence in the southwestern region along with the minor opposition Democratic Party.

 

Business & Industry

 

Chaebol reform faces stiff opposition

Fair Trade Commission chief Kwon Oh-seung publicly denounced the distorted governance structure at major conglomerates, signaling a tougher drive on the anvil to reform the chaebol, or family-controlled large, Korean businesses.

The top antitrust regulator Friday called on major conglomerates to undertake further reforms such as disentangling complex shareholding structures and improving governance system.

 

Soaring housing prices perplex home buyers

Despite additional steps by the government to curb speculative demand, apartment prices in Seoul and neighboring areas have surged, perplexing not only economic policymakers, but also many home buyers.

While some market analysts have applauded the government's decision to shift their focus to increasing housing supply, rather than reining in demand, others have questioned its effectiveness, citing a lack of public confidence in the property policy.

 

Business Standard, India (online edition)

Front page

 

FMCG firms line up more price hikes

Most fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are planning to hike prices shortly in the face of rising input costs.

In the past month, benzene prices have increased by 5-7%. Linear alkyl benzene is a key input for detergents.

 

Bombardier, railways in loco tie-up

The $7.6bn Canadian transport solutions major Bombardier Transportation may partner Indian Railways to produce electronic freight locomotives in the country for the proposed Rs220bn ($4.9bn) dedicated freight corridors on the eastern and western routes.  

Senior executives of Bombardier Transportation have met Indian Railways' officials for exploring the option of setting up a greenfield electronic freight locomotive manufacturing facility and an assembling unit in India.

 

Companies & Industry

 

Flextronics plans $200m unit

Singapore-based Flextronics, a leading contract electronics manufacturer, has planned to invest $200m in the first phase to set up its manufacturing facility in Sriperumbudur (45km from Chennai), where the company would be consolidating its Indian manufacturing operations.

In the first phase, the company will set up two units with a total space of 500,000 sq ft at the 250 acre Flextronics Industrial Park.

 

Construction in full swing at Dabhol

It is not only generation that has re-started at the beleaguered Dabhol power plant but construction is also in full swing with the power ministry fixing tight timelines for completion of the 2,184 mw Dabhol power project. Dabhol is currently providing 350 mw power to Maharashtra.

In a presentation to the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) last week, the power ministry said the LNG facility, excluding the breakwater facility and the jetty, would be completed by March 2007. The breakwater facility and jetty are expected to be completed by end of 2009.

 

Business Times, Singapore (print edition)

Latest News

 

Citigroup cuts Venture to sell from buy

SINGAPORE - Citigroup has lowered its investment recommendation for shares in contract electronics firm Venture Corp to 'sell' from 'buy', citing the stock's recent rally combined with subdued guidance for the fourth quarter.

'Our thesis that Venture's long-term growth prospects are improving remains intact but the 38% rally in the share price in the past three months more than factors in organic earnings growth and GES's contribution,' Citigroup analyst Horng Han Low said in a note to clients.

 

Saudi Aramco to open offices in KL, Shanghai

RIYADH - Oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Sunday it planned to open offices in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai but denied a report that it was moving its Asian headquarters from Singapore to Malaysia.

The planned opening of the offices in Malaysia and China 'reflects the growing importance of the Asia Pacific region to Saudi Aramco, not only as a market for its crude oil and products, but also as a provider of essential goods, materials and services,' the state-owned conglomerate said.

 

Front page (print edition)

 

S'pore to pump more into urban transport system

Singaporeans can expect a high quality and affordable urban transport system in the future, and air travel to anywhere in the world will be a breeze with Changi Airport having an even wider global link with the opening of Terminal 3 in 2008.

Meanwhile, the port of Singapore, already the busiest container port in the world, will have its Pasir Panjang Terminal expanded into a world class megaport with the ability to handle over 30 million container boxes annually and the biggest future generation ships.

 

S'pore working with Asean on haze: PM

 The haze in the region is a serious trans-boundary problem for many countries in South-east Asia, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday. 

 Singapore, he said, will do its part by working with the Indonesian government and Asean partners on a long-term action plan.

 

Bangkok Post, Thailand (online edition)

Breaking News

 

World debates Saddam death penalty

Saddam Hussein's death sentence was celebrated by some on Sunday as justice deserved or even divine, but denounced by others as a political ploy two days before critical US midterm congressional elections.
Worldwide, the range of reactions -- including a European outcry over capital punishment and doubts about the fairness of the tribunal that ordered Saddam to hang -- reflected new geopolitical fault lines drawn after America's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and depose its dictator.

 

Thai Muslim predicts trouble for America

The hanging of Saddam Hussein “will turn to hell for the Americans,” a Thai academic predicted tonight, after a guilty verdict in Baghdad touched off an avalanche of divided reaction around the world.
Vitaya Visetrat, who teaches Muslim history and current affairs and is also an adviser of the Islamic Centre Foundation of Thailand, said, “The hanging of Saddam Hussein will turn to hell for the Americans,” because the world will become a more dangerous place. 

 

Business & Industry

 

Jet-fuel rivals set to square off in court

A dispute between the two aviation fuel pipeline operators serving Suvarnabhumi Airport has escalated into a lawsuit filed by JP-One Asset against rival Thai Petroleum Pipeline (Thappline).

JP-One, a subsidiary of SET-listed Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services Plc (Bafs), is claiming Baht5.18bn ($141.2m) in compensation for alleged tort and violation of the Trade Competition Act.

 

B128bn in short-term debt to be converted into bonds

The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) plans to convert its treasury bills into government bonds to reduce financial mismatches, according to Pannee Stawarodom, the PDMO director-general.

Under the plan, it is converting 128 billion worth of the short-term debt into government bonds between October this year and September next year, out of Baht200bn in treasury bills outstanding.





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